WilmU Joins Collaborative Focused on ‘Setting the Standards’ for Training the Next Generation of Teachers


The next generation of public school teachers depends on the quality — and the availability — of mentor teachers who will show them the way.

Wilmington University has joined two school districts, two other colleges with teacher programs, and the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) in an effort to ensure that today’s student-teachers have role models to follow as they enter the vocation and become the future of education.

For the rest of this year, the Delaware Mentor Collaborative will develop new and effective approaches for recruiting, training, and retaining working educators as hosts for student-teachers, particularly in year-long residency teacher preparation programs.

In addition to WilmU, the Collaborative’s participants include the Red Clay and Colonial school districts, Delaware State University, the University of Delaware, Philadelphia’s Relay Graduate School of Education, and officials from the DDOE.

The Collaborative is working with grant funding and guidance from US PREP (University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation), a nationwide coalition of college education departments on a mission to serve and support teacher training programs.

“A more unified approach toward identifying and selecting mentor teachers will come out of this process,” said WilmU assistant professor Tyler Wells, who oversees the College of Education’s year-long student-teaching program. “There are other initiatives the group will be working on as well. Teacher academy pipelines to residency, increasing the diversity of enrollment in teacher preparation, and the sustainability of residency programs.”

In the best-case scenario, its participants say the Collaborative’s results will be cumulative, delivering improvements to the state’s public education workforce, the teachers they’re training, and ultimately the students in their classrooms.

“We are setting the standards that will ensure that every year-long teacher resident in the state of Delaware is supported and taught by a highly qualified mentor teacher,” said Stacie Zdrojewski, student-teacher coordinator for the Red Clay School District. “This support will result in a stronger, more professionally satisfied teacher workforce, which will decrease attrition and benefit the students of Delaware.”

Wilmington University’s year-long residency option, an immersive alternative to the traditional 80-day student-teaching program, enables College of Education students to spend an entire school year working alongside mentor teachers in select partner schools.

Learn more about WilmU teacher education and the year-long residency program.

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